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Which? Survey Slates Big ISPís
By: MarkJ - 04 August, 2006 (9:26 AM)

The latest consumer survey from Which? states that there has never been a better time to find a good broadband deal, so long as you avoid "the big three" providers (BT, AOL and NTL). Happily Zen Internet came top, proving that big often isn't best:

Only 34 per cent of BTís customers, a quarter of AOLís and a fifth of NTLís customers said they were very satisfied with the service they received.

Zen Internet received top ratings for ease of set-up, customer service, online and phone support, speed and reliability. More than three quarters (77 per cent) of users were very satisfied with the overall service.

The other two Best Buys1 were Global and Waitrose with 72 per cent of customers very satisfied. Global scored top marks for customer service, and its packages include a free router that allows PCs to be networked together and free line activation.

Waitrose, a Best Buy for the second year in a row, did quite well for reliability of connection and value for money and scored top marks for everything else, even offering a free helpline.

None of the cheapest providers were at the top of the table as they didnít do so well for service. The Ďfreeí broadband services Which? looked at Ė Sky, the Carphone Warehouse and Orange - require customers to subscribe to another, paid-for service as well as tying themselves in for a lengthy time period.*

In the survey Wanadoo Ė now rebranded as Orange Ė had only thirty per cent very satisfied customers, while Carphone Warehouseís Talk Talk service had thirty nine per cent. The new Sky service was launched after the survey.

It's interesting to note that the survey also had a few words of caution for those considering newer "free" offers. We've seen a lot of people in the media touting these new services for their money saving potential, yet all such offers are not equal and poor service/support quality are frequently aspects ignored by such reports.

One other thing to note is that BT and AOL are by no means terrible ISPís, while Tiscali can take some solace from the fact that they werenít even mentioned.

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